We used Craig’s PCT Planner and Yogi’s PCT Handbook to create an itinerary for our entire PCT hike. Craig’s web application is a great tool and makes the planning process a lot easier. Thanks Craig!

The plan includes all our resupply points and provides dates for our arrival and departure from each. Of course, our actual dates will deviate a bit from the plan, but in general we expect the plan will be on target. We hope to visit with folks who live near the trail, so let us know if you would like to meet us at any of the towns listed!

Here is the plan summary:

Section Depart Distance (mi) Elevation Gain (ft) Arrival
Campo to Mt. Laguna 4-25-12 (Wed) 42.9 mi 5,485 ft 4-30-12 (Mon)
Mt. Laguna to Warner Springs 5-1-12 (Tue) 67.7 mi 3,500 ft 5-5-12 (Sat)
Warner Springs to Idylwild 5-7-12 (Mon) 69.6 mi 10,211 ft 5-10-12 (Thu)
Idylwild to Big Bear City 5-12-12 (Sat) 96.1 mi 12,307 ft 5-17-12 (Thu)
Big Bear City to Wrightwood 5-19-12 (Sat) 89.6 mi 8,090 ft 5-23-12 (Wed)
Wrightwood to Agua Dulce 5-24-12 (Thu) 89.0 mi 10,428 ft 5-28-12 (Mon)
Agua Dulce to Tehachapi 5-30-12 (Wed) 100.2 mi 11,427 ft 6-3-12 (Sun)
Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows 6-5-12 (Tue) 141.9 mi 16,045 ft 6-11-12 (Mon)
Kennedy Meadows to Vermillion Valley Resort 6-13-12 (Wed) 191.3 mi 29,128 ft 6-23-12 (Sat)
Vermillion Valley Resort to Tuolumne Meadows 6-24-12 (Sun) 65.5 mi 9,110 ft 6-27-12 (Wed)
Tuolumne Meadows to Echo Lake Resort 6-29-12 (Fri) 152.6 mi 19,885 ft 7-7-12 (Sat)
Echo Lake Resort to Sierra City 7-8-12 (Sun) 102.1 mi 10,606 ft 7-13-12 (Fri)
Sierra City to Belden 7-13-12 (Fri) 96.7 mi 13,056 ft 7-17-12 (Tue)
Belden to Old Station 7-18-12 (Wed) 88.4 mi 10,275 ft 7-22-12 (Sun)
Old Station to Burney Falls State Park 7-22-12 (Sun) 45.9 mi 1,457 ft 7-24-12 (Tue)
Burney Falls State Park to Castella 7-24-12 (Tue) 82.9 mi 8,000 ft 7-28-12 (Sat)
Castella to Etna 7-28-12 (Sat) 99.8 mi 11,144 ft 8-1-12 (Wed)
Etna to Seiad Valley 8-3-12 (Fri) 56.8 mi 4,185 ft 8-5-12 (Sun)
Seiad Valley to Ashland 8-6-12 (Mon) 64.5 mi 10,002 ft 8-9-12 (Thu)
Ashland to Crater Lake Post Office 8-10-12 (Fri) 105.4 mi 9,883 ft 8-14-12 (Tue)
Crater Lake Post Office to Shelter Cove Resort 8-15-12 (Wed) 92.6 mi 6,776 ft 8-20-12 (Mon)
Shelter Cove Resort to Sisters 8-20-12 (Mon) 77.1 mi 6,891 ft 8-24-12 (Fri)
Sisters to Timberline Lodge 8-25-12 (Sat) 117.8 mi 12,355 ft 8-30-12 (Thu)
Timberline Lodge to Cascade Locks 8-30-12 (Thu) 49.3 mi 4,140 ft 9-1-12 (Sat)
Cascade Locks to White Pass 9-2-12 (Sun) 148.1 mi 20,837 ft 9-9-12 (Sun)
White Pass to Snoqualmie Pass 9-9-12 (Sun) 98.6 mi 9,025 ft 9-13-12 (Thu)
Snoqualmie Pass to Skykomish 9-13-12 (Thu) 74.5 mi 13,420 ft 9-17-12 (Mon)
Skykomish to Stehekin 9-17-12 (Mon) 97.8 mi 16,720 ft 9-23-12 (Sun)
Stehekin to Manning Park 9-24-12 (Mon) 88.8 mi 12,723 ft 9-28-12 (Fri)
Totals: 2,693.5 mi 317,111 ft


  1. This might alter your plans a bit. Jess and Ben our new nice friends in Dunsmuir said to tell you they would be happy to provide rides, showers and a place to have a break from the trail. Dunsmuir is close to Mt Shasta and and the PCT.


  2. Anna and Chris,
    Glad to meet you on your site. You guys seem very organized and have done extensive gear research. I am excited to be following on your upcoming journey. We live in Tehachapi and if you guys need rides or a place to stay when passing through, just contact us.


    1. Thanks Rockin! You are both a hiker and trail angel :-) We’ll take you up on your offer. It will be really fun to meet you in person after following your blog the past few months. By the way, some of our gear research came from you…thanks!


  3. Yeah organized! well organized. 156 days sounds awesome. My current itinerary is 159 days taking the rest of each resupply day off. I have yet to plug in any zeros though. Knowing me I’m going to be up around 170 when all is said and done.

    Again – great information and plan! Best Wishes.


  4. Hi, In 2011 I parked my trailer on Humbolt summit, 6 mi south of half way point on Butt Mountain. Served Cheesburgers, Hot Dogs, or nice veggie salad with beer or juice. Hope to repeat in 2012. I’ll try to be there a couple of weekends in July and the may set up somewhere further north in August. Hope to see you there, let other though hikers know. I’m living though all of you until I can go myself.



    1. We thoroughly enjoyed the long stretch of time in the Sierras without city interruptions. The tough part was carrying 11 days of food up and down mountain passes. Given another light snow year we would probably go Kennedy Meadows to VVR again.

      In a heavy snow year, travel is slower through the Sierras. In that case we would opt to resupply through Kearsarge Pass. Ultimately the decision comes down to your own personal preferences and comfort in the Sierras.

      In 2012 (a low snow year) it seemed that 95% of thru hikers planned for shorter distances between resupply points than us. We like to minimize town stops. Hope that helps. The Sierras are stunning. Enjoy!


  5. Thank you guys for all your amazingly detailed and helpful information! My fiancé and I want to attempt a thru hike on the PCT or partial PCT hike next spring. We have a year to prepare and I am wondering how you prepared physically? Also, if you were going to recommend a 3 month portion of the trail which section would you recommend? We really want to bring our dogs… do you have any thoughts on this? Thank you so much in advance for your insight!


    1. Good questions. We prepared physically by walking or biking everywhere on a daily basis (not using a car). Doing grocery trips with your hiking backpack is great. Adding books for weight on walks to work, lunch, errands, etc. is helpful too. The more hills, the better. Weekend backpacking trips are invaluable for testing gear, figuring out your favorite dehydrated meals, and of course having fun!

      In terms of recommending a 3 month section, that’s really tough. Each area offers its own beauty, and I honestly can’t pick a favorite. It depends mainly on your personal preferences. We’ve heard that the trail is getting much busier during the traditional thru-hiker window (starting in April at the Mexican border and ending in September at Canadian border). If you desire maximum solitude, I would recommend offsetting your hike from where thru hikers are expected to be.

      We haven’t hiked with dogs but can offer a few thoughts. Dogs are allowed on parts of the PCT, but not the segments which pass through National Parks, and some CA State Parks. Dogs can get blisters on their paws from hiking long distances, and the extreme temperature range on the PCT can be rough on them. They may chase bears and snakes, with bad results. You’ll need to carry extra food and water throughout your hike to feed them. For all these reasons, we wouldn’t recommend bringing your dogs on a long PCT hike.

      So glad the blog has been helpful for you, and hope these responses were too!


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